Responsible Together 2019

Responsible Together 2019: Preventing and responding to sexualised violence

From 25 November to 10 December 2019, we used our voices to highlight an overlooked issue in domestic abuse interventions: men's sexualised violence against their partners.

See materials from the campaign in our campaigning resources

Why should you care?

Sexualised violence in relationships is a significant concern across Europe, yet it's often not taken seriously by the media, justice system, or policymakers. Studies reveal alarming statistics, with one in five women globally experiencing rape or attempted rape, often by their male partners. European research shows that 64% of women who've experienced sexualised violence since age 15 were victimised by their partners.

Rape myths perpetuate disbelief in survivors and justify perpetrators' actions, discouraging victims from reporting crimes with potentially lethal consequences. Accordingly, prosecution rates for rape remain low across Europe, with other forms of sexualised violence often going unnoticed, especially within relationships.

What needs to change and what can you do?

Men must hold each other accountable for violence by speaking out against sexist behaviours and language, whether in private or on social media. It's crucial to acknowledge the harm caused by pornography and its portrayal of violent sexual encounters, which perpetuates sexist and racist stereotypes. Additionally, the focus should shift from scrutinising survivors to questioning the behaviour of men who choose to violate women. Making perpetrators visible is essential in addressing sexual violence.